And on the last friday of Black History Month month, I am beyond proud to share Chloe as our feature of the week. Read her full interview below!
How and when did you get into cosplay?
So when I was growing up, I adored anime. And I used to frequent this site called Gaia Online. That’s where I heard about cosplay. It was amazing seeing people dressed up as characters from my favorite shows. And it was something that I always wanted to do. That was back when I was 11.
Fast forward to the start of Barbados’ AnimeKon in 2010. I wanted to cosplay but was very self-conscious about it. It was only in my third year at the convention, after seeing the number of cosplayers grow, did I decide to join them in cosplaying. So I officially started to cosplay in 2012. It was so liberating and I’ve been doing it ever since.
What do your friends and family think of your hobby?
A good bit of my friends are cosplayers or are into anime related things. So it wasn’t too weird at all. My mom accepts it and in her opinion I could be doing bad things in the world. So in comparison this is great. My dad was always supportive of it and would even give me advice on my props.
If you're still cosplaying in 10+ years, do you think it will have an effect on your cosplay choices, or the characters you choose to portray?
To an extent, as my tastes would probably change with the kind of media that I consume. Who knows, I might move from anime to movies. Also as my skills expand, so will the range and type of characters I’ll cosplay. But in terms of my age itself? Not really, I don’t think my age should necessarily stop me from cosplaying the characters I love.
What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
Right now I freelance, as it relates to the field of Computer Science. I’m also a lifestyle and beauty blogger, which I honestly enjoy. There’s a bunch of things I love to do like play video games, listen to music, crochet and crafting. Also I have a soft spot for reality shows not gonna lie.
How do you choose your next cosplay?
First I think of series that I love or enjoy. Then I go through the characters within the series, do I like them or not? If I do, I start to gather reference photos and break down the character. Is this going to be easy or difficult? The ease of creation plays a big role in me choosing the characters and for what purpose.
Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
There’s so many that I love and are a frequent source of inspiration for me. Honestly seeing how the cosplay community has grown is truly amazing. Some cosplayers I love are Kaybear Cosplay, Mango Sirene, Maki Roll Chop Shop, Ashe Cosplay and Laydieskull just to name a few.
What is your dream cosplay?
A dream cosplay, huh? Probably a big armor character, Tyrande Whisperwind comes to mind immediately. It will call for so much, armor, body paint, ears, and wig styling. She’d be a big project for someone like little ol’ me.
What is your favorite convention to attend?
I’ve only been to AnimeKon in Barbados. So I have to say that’s my favorite convention. But I really want to attend Colossalcon in America. A convention that is also a pool party? Sign me up!
Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve in cosplay, is probably how people see it as more of a competition than a hobby anymore. Like outside of contests, some people act like there can only be one popular cosplayer or they need to outdo someone. It’s so silly to me, isn’t this supposed to be a fun hobby?
Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
I made my first armor cosplay last year and that was an entire mess. I didn’t pace myself well enough and just jumped in. In the end I was rushing so much with it. I even had parts of my cosplay falling off in the convention hall. I hated how it turned out that I didn’t even upload any of my pictures in the costume. It was so bad and I was honestly frustrated. So my best advice is to don’t underestimate your task at hand. And schedule your time out, don’t be making full armor, a month before the convention. Life can get in the way and set you back a ton.
Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
Do what you love, cosplay is all about fun.
Do you have anything else you want to say, or add to this interview?
Cosplay is an amazing hobby that brings people together. I hope that more black and Caribbean cosplayers can be featured in the community. So I’m really happy that I could be interviewed.
Where can we find you on all things social?
Naomi ‘n Doll Blog
Photos for this interview provided by Signature Imagery, and Animekon Expo
Chloe is such a stunning artist, and an amazing blogger as well. Make sure you go follow along with her work!